Well, there's a little more to it than that. But it's not for us to explain.
So, meet Gabe.
Tell us about yourself.
Well my name is Gabriel Sands but a lot of people just call me Gabe. I can describe my life as the "Oh fuck" state where you're leaning back in a chair, and you tip just a little too far back then there's that moment where you think you're going to fall back and die. This is my constant state of mind.
But in all seriousness I have been somewhat in and out of the fashion and design scene for most of my life. I always enjoyed drawing and creating things visually appealing. I learned Photoshop during my junior year, once senior year came around I decided to get into photography. Sure enough a few months later I was getting paid to shoot. It was a sudden success but I wanted to do something more. After I graduated I got more into the fashion game and hype game than I would care to admit, however at this point I think I am making a change to more of a classy-casual scene. Through my fashion interest I was able to quit my regular job and start buying clothing for people who wanted better deals. It was pretty good money though at this point I had to choose if I wanted to continue with it or move on to College. I realised that since my photography skills, design skills, and general attitude about wanting to be independent were great enough, I could start to follow a long-term passion project and actually move forward with the whole start-up scene. So far I regret nothing.
Whats your background?
I grew up around a bunch of rich, passive aggressive hipsters who wanted to look cool. This was in Seattle, Washington. I wasn't very passive aggressive and I didn't really care how I looked, so I never really fit in in that sense. I hung around the stoner/skater kids and never really skated. I snowboard but that's about it. When my friends and I weren't passing the time by smoking the devil's lettuce, I would often just go home and look at Art-Work and design in general. I started making a few sweatshirts and people responded to them really well. They were one-off's and I rocked them daily. During the Summer I would regularly head over towards the east coast sports camp, which eventually turned into a job! I got to learn about different cultures there, hanging with kids from the ghetto's while knowing kids who owned Yacht's. The diversity was something crazy to witness and I made some of my best friends there. Up until senior year of High School I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I still don't, but I'm heading in the right direction.
Why New Zealand, and why Bittersweet?
So there I was, scrolling through Reddit
when I found this Sub-Reddit
and it immediately caught my eye. So I scrolled through some more, and a range of Startup Streetwear Brands caught my eye. I actually started getting really invested in the community as this was something I had always been interested in.
While traveling through Central America for school, I had an opportunity to go anywhere I wanted for an Internship. I knew this was my chance, to learn, to discover and all that shit. Bittersweet was a Brand on the Sub-Reddit that often caught my eye, so I reached out to Declan one day and was like "Yo." Low and behold a few days later he responded "Yo." That's basically how I ended up here in New Zealand. True story.
I reached out to the brand because I was really interested in their following and the quality of their clothes. Simple but interesting. I really like that. I also was super keen on New Zealand because it just seemed like such a beautiful country. And it is. 11/10, would recommend.
What are some of the biggest differences or similarities you've noticed between New Zealand and the U.S so far?
When I got here, the biggest shocker for me would have been that I was the one with the accent. After a week I noticed that I had already started picking up slight Kiwi vocal mannerisms. I was confused whether I should let it happen or clutch tightly to my U.S. accent! I'm still undecided.
Also, growing up in Seattle, the fashion there was quite literally jeans and sweaters. Lots of jeans. Lots of plaid sweaters and boots. Lots of hipsters. I, along with most of my friends were jean wearing hooligans that threw yogurt packets at cars and drove away. Don't ask me why that's relevant, it just is. Anyway, when I arrived I noticed there were very few hype-beasts, most people were just dressed really well. Mostly though, I was really confused about which side of the fucking car I get in.
Hopefully I can continue my passion project(s) here in New Zealand, tour around, take some photos, make friends (hopefully), and just generally make use of the time I have here. Once I am done I want to go home, find a girlfriend, kiss her, and rule the world. Simple, 1,2 and 3.
Seriously though, when I get back I will be able to attend college with my 2 best friends and starting fucking shit up in the clothing game. Especially in the Northwest. I want to continue studying advertising and marketing. Learn how to build clout, and just generally succeed.
I just hope to make the best of my time here and go back home and not regret it.
I don't know, so far so good.